PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — The Democratic Party (DP) stand solidly with the coalition in leaving no stone unturned to get the budget of the country passed in Parliament. Because if we think the current situation is murky, imagine the following which is a very real possibility. The big difference being, that the wellbeing and livelihood of practically the entire community can be at stake in the following scenario.
The budget remains in limbo, because a 7-7 tie vote goes nowhere!
This means this budget goes nowhere and eventually the CFT will report to the Kingdom Government that St. Maarten has no approved budget.
No budget is reason for an instruction from the Kingdom government.
Other than was the case with the instructions to the Governor, H.E. Mr. E. Holiday, a financial instruction is very much in accordance with the kingdom law on the CFT. We have no need or desire to paint all kinds of doom scenarios, but the contents and scope of such an instruction can be anything from a slap on the wrist to a stop on (certain) expenditures. So it is not only about getting loans to finance capital projects.
We need at least 8 votes in parliament to pass the budget legislation. Yes, the budget too is legislation.
As Democratic Party and coalition partner, we have taken note of the Opposition’s demands in order to support the budget.
How convenient! Elections, at the whims of the Opposition can be held immediately or put off until 2018. Forget about “what is good for the goose is good for the gander”.
However, if the Opposition of Seven is sincere about their so called options or alternatives, we would like to know and we would like the people to know, what does the Opposition have in mind?
They should know that already, we hope. What is this so called vision which they want to see reflected in the budget? Where were these “bright” ideas during the first round of deliberations on the budget?
Because remember, the budget in its simplest form is if you add to the expenses, you have to add to the income, and if you decrease income, you have to decrease expenses, at least if you want to comply with the balanced budget norm.
So again, what are these proposals by the opposition? And please don’t give us: “You tell me first that you will hold immediate elections thereafter, and then I will tell you what I want out of the budget or what I want amended. Do not the people deserve to know?
Any change to the budget at this stage is a delay! Pure and simple. Is this the Opposition’s objective?
Of course they know that changes will take time. The more drastic, the longer it takes.
Let’s see what their choice is going to be. But regardless, let the people know what the collective Opposition thinks is the way out.